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Gold prices move little as nonfarm payrolls data looms -- Gold prices kept to a tight range on Friday, coming under pressure from fears of rising U.S. interest rates as markets awaited more cues from nonfarm payrolls data due later in the day.

The yellow metal fell sharply in the prior session, once again testing the $1,900 an ounce support level after U.S. private payrolls data read stronger-than-expected for June.

The reading pointed to a strong labor market and drummed up concerns that the Fed will remain aggressive in raising interest rates to curb inflation. Such a scenario bodes poorly for non-yielding assets such as gold.

Spot gold steadied at $1,910.54 an ounce, while gold futures were flat at $1,916.00 an ounce by 22:41 ET (02:41 GMT). Both instruments were set for a fourth straight week in red.

U.S. rate hike fears increase, nonfarm payrolls awaited

Private payrolls data released on Thursday showed that the labor market remained robust, likely heralding a similar reading from nonfarm payrolls data due later on Friday.

Thursday's reading saw markets begin pricing in a greater chance of more interest rate hikes by the Fed this year, with Fed Fund futures prices showing markets pricing in a nearly 92% chance for a 25 basis point hike in end-July.

Rising interest rates weigh on gold prices by pushing up the opportunity cost of holding the yellow metal, with investors preferring to take positions in the dollar and U.S. debt instead.

Strength in the labor market also points to some resilience in the U.S. economy, further denting gold’s safe haven appeal.

Expectations of an economic slowdown this year have been among the few trends supporting gold prices, and have largely helped gold maintain the $1,900 support level. The yellow metal is also trading up about 5% for the year.

Copper hit by growth concerns, Goldman Sachs sees demand recovery

Among industrial metals, copper prices retreated as markets feared that rising interest rates will dent industrial activity. The red metal was also hit by a string of weaker-than-expected economic readings from China, the world’s largest copper importer.

Copper futures fell 0.1% to $3.7402 a pound, and were set to close a third straight week in red.

Still, investment bank Goldman Sachs said in a recent note that increased usage of electric vehicles was likely to ramp up demand for copper in the sector.

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